How to take frame-worthy photos while traveling
By Amy Wright | Jun 17, 2021
Try these simple tips and tricks for travel photography on your iPhone (or other camera)
There’s a reason why people, even those who wouldn’t consider themselves photographers by any stretch of the imagination, love taking lots of photos on their trips. These experiences are so special, so unique, and so rare that you want to remember them forever with the crystal clarity and personal meaning that only a photo can provide.
Modern smartphones have made all of us into amateur photographers, and they make it easy to whip out our cameras and take nice shots wherever we go. But for occasions like once-in-a-lifetime trips, we want to capture the memories in a way that goes beyond just “nice.”
We want to take gorgeous photographs that capture the spirit of the place and the overall experience. And there are certain tips and techniques that anyone can use—even non-visual types—with any kind of camera to create memorable and striking images that will earn a place of honor in your home, whether it’s a small tabletop framed print, a collection of framed prints, canvas prints, or a majestic large-scale piece of wall art.
Plan your photos around when the light is best
The “golden hours” at early morning and sunset are the best times for photography, providing natural light that is soft and diffused. Midday, when the sun is glaring down on everything and casting shadows galore, is a much trickier time to get a nice shot.
There’s another bonus to getting up early to take photos: it usually means there’s fewer tourists out and about so you’re able to get shots that don’t include random people. This is especially important if you’re at an attraction that typically sees a steady influx of tourists each and every day—places like Machu Picchu or Angkor Wat, for instance.
Use the rule of thirds like a pro
The rule of thirds is a fundamental concept in visual arts and knowing it will help you start taking better photos right away. The rule is simple: divide your image into nine equal parts by imagining two horizontal and two vertical lines over it. The most important elements of your photograph should fall along those lines or at the points where they intersect. Composing your images in this way will create more visual interest and excitement than merely centering your subject.
Here’s an iPhone camera tip that will make this a snap. Simply use the grid feature that comes on every modern smartphone to take photos that follow the rule of thirds. The grid feature also comes in super handy when you want to make sure the horizon is straight in your photos.
Bring a lightweight travel tripod
Nobody wants to lug around an extra piece of equipment while on holiday, but a travel tripod can make all the difference for capturing photos in low light and for highly detailed landscapes, moving water, sunsets, and self-portraits. Plus, they can fold up for easy carrying in a purse or backpack.
Experiment with height
If you’re not a trained photographer, it’s probably your instinct to just point and shoot from wherever you’re standing, but shots taken this way often fall flat and look like every other photo.
One of the best travel photography tips for beginners that will instantly add more energy and interest to your shots is to try shooting from different heights. Crouch down on the ground and shoot up or climb up and shoot down from an elevated height. Don’t be satisfied with just one perspective or idea for a photo. Take your time and play around to find different ways to create interesting images.
The best shots don’t just happen. They’re the result of careful planning and giving yourself the proper time to think and get creative. Build this extra time into your travel itinerary so that you’re not rushing to take photos before moving on to your next destination.
If you’re traveling with other people, you may want to consider scheduling a few hours of solo time so you can take your photos at your own pace without worrying about holding your travel mates back. Your reward will be spectacular images that are perfect for creating photo prints and personalized wall art that will keep your travel memories front and center in your home for many years to come.
Ready to get started printing the photos you’ve taken while exploring new landscapes? We can help you create dazzling and unique custom photo prints of your favorite travel memories. Click the button below to get started.